The View From Down Here #49

A quiet week… thank goodness. We all need some down time, what with Wimbledon coming up, and the Ashes and what not. So a few comments, and a few scores… and not a whole lot more. Enjoy!

ICC World Twenty20
I know this event no longer includes Australia, bundled out as they were by the selectors of their own country (as well as the other teams being better than them at this form of the game…) but here’s the results to the end of the tournament.
            Now, it was a fun series of games, but I personally still have trouble calling this proper cricket. It’s like rugby sevens or 3-inning 6-a-side baseball. Quick games for the ADHD generation. But the skills that are required are not exactly comparable with the longer forms of the game. The sort of games kids play when they know they’ve got to be home in an hour for tea. And now it’s out there on the world stage.
            But I know I’m an old fuddy-duddy who doesn’t like change. Sure; fine. I know you’re thinking it. But, really, these games should not be held at the same level as the other forms of the sports. They are fun and draw the crowds, but they are not the same games.
            Here’s the results:
21st Match, Group F
Pakistan 5/159; Ireland 9/120
            Pakistan won by 39 runs
22nd Match, Group E
England 6/161; West Indies 5/82 (8.2 overs)
            West Indies won by 5 wickets
            Duckworth-Lewis rears its ugly, confusing head again; thank-you, crappy English weather!
23rd Match, Group F
Sri Lanka 5/158; New Zealand 110 (17 overs)
            Sri Lanka won by 48 runs
24th Match, Group E
South Africa 5/130; India 8/118
            South Africa won by 12 runs
1st Semi-Final:
Pakistan 4/149; South Africa 5/142
            Pakistan won by 7 runs
            This has resulted in cries that South Africa choke in the big matches, and can’t handle the pressure or weight of expectation heaped upon them. It’s an interesting thought…
2nd Semi-Final:
Sri Lanka 5/158; West Indies 101 (17.4 overs)
            Sri Lanka won by 57 runs
            A shame, this. I was hoping this would see the Windies get all the way through and spark a resurgence in what can be the most exciting nation who play cricket. Even though Australia were often at the receiving end, watching the West Indian barrage of bowlers and batsmen in the 1980s was always an awesome sight.
Sri Lanka 6/138; Pakistan 2/139 (18.4 overs)
            Pakistan won by 8 wickets (with 8 balls remaining)
            A good final match with a deserving team winning the title. After the turmoil in their country, being forced to play home games away from home, having terrorists target cricketers in their country, this must be something of a relief for all the hard work and effort put in by the Pakistani players.
            Twenty20 World Cup Champion Team – Pakistan

Australian Rules Football
Second half of the AFL split round. Only three games. Meanwhile the SANFL had their rivalry round, which was, as always, damn entertaining.
AFL Round Twelve (week 2):
Essendon 19.17 (131) def Melbourne 13.5 (83)
            No surprise here.
Sydney 9.12 (66) def by Collingwood 13.11 (89)
            Collingwood said they did it for their coach, who was celebrating his 600th game. But the game never reached any real heights.
Fremantle 11.9 (75) def by Geelong 13.16 (94)
            Fremantle pushed Geelong quite a bit, but the result was never in doubt. I say that even after the scores were equal at three-quarter-time, but Geelong’s inaccuracy was the main cause for that.
SANFL – Round Twelve
Sturt 8.6 (54) def by Glenelg 14.12 (96)
            And Glenelg have taking a firmer grip upon the top of the table, defeating Sturt handily. A good crowd saw a good match.
Port Adelaide 16.14 (110) def Norwood 12.11 (82)
            Something of an upset by the Magpies, and a really disappointing result for Norwood, denting their chances hugely.
Central Districts 12.8 (80) def North Adelaide 6.13 (49)
            Centrals and Glenelg are now the odds-on favourites to reach the grand final. But this was not a convincing win by the Bulldogs, meaning it could be anybody’s season this year. North Adelaide, on the other hand, are still missing the leadership of Andrew Jarman, their coach who was forced out of the club and is now in Western Australia (I believe… but could not be bothered googling to find out exactly…)
South Adelaide 10.8 (68) def by Woodville-West Torrens 13.11 (89)
            No more than a training run at the icebox that is South’s home ground. As much as it pains me to say it, South Adelaide is going nowhere fast and they need a COMPLETE overhaul, from top to bottom, including attitude and culture. And maybe move further south, to Victor Harbor where everything will be new and different.
Bye: West Adelaide

Round Twelve
Mystics 57 def by Vixens 61
            Close call for the Vixens, but they did enough to pull out the win.
Thunderbirds 70 hammered Pulse 40
            Adelaide are now looking the most likely to challenge the Vixens for the title this year. I don’t think the Magic are going to do it this year, despite being up there with them both.
Swifts 60 def by Fever 63
            And this is it for the Swifts; there is no way they’ll be defending their title from last year now…
Magic 50 def Tactix 46
            Tactix did well, pushing Magic all the way. It was only the fourth quarter that saw the Magic edge forward enough to win. Not entirely convincing.
Firebirds 52 def Steel 50
            Another good close game, with the third quarter proving the difference between the teams. But a good, close game.

Rugby Union
Rugby Test
Australia 34 def Italy 12
            Much like the last outing, Italy were game but Australia were just way too good.

World Cup Qualifier
Australia 2 def Japan 1
            The first goal conceded by Australia but a vaguely entertaining game. These matches are proving invaluable for Australia leading into next year’s World Cup, but the amount of yellow cards the Aussie players are getting has to be a concern, with any reds potentially meaning some of our bigger names and better players may miss out on the opening rounds, which would be disastrous for the team’s hopes of getting beyond the first pool games.

Formula One
            A potentially HUGE shake-up in the world of F-1. Eight teams have declared they will break away and go it alone next season after failing to reach a compromise agreement with the world governing body. The FIA, in response are planning to sue the breakaway teams. This has got messy, and it all goes back to ego. The money is secondary (although a biog secondary) to the fact that F-1 has been ruled by one man for too long. Bernie Ecclestone first (who now owns the commercial rights), then Max Mosley – two men in charge with egos like that of the dictators of most third world countries. And then the egos of the car manufacturers as well. Mosley and Ecclestone are worried about their multi-million dollar pay checks being decimated; the teams are worried because they can’t do what they want. And it won’t matter who wins because if this does happen, it will most likely be the end of the racing as we know it, especially as closed wheel vehicles take on more of a prominent role in racing and as people come to see more and more that car racing is one huge waste of valuable natural resources.
            There’s a Grand prix on as well, but, really, this is much more interesting…
British Grand Prix
1st: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2nd: Mark Webber (Red Bull)
            Yes, another podium finish. If he keeps this up, the title of ‘most over-rated Australian sports star’ may have to pass on to some-one else…
3rd: Rubens Barrichello (Brawn)
V-8 Supercars
It appears that the V-8s are going to be opened up to more teams and more manufacturers next year. While Ford and Holden don’t like the idea, I think it is really an excellent idea, and could make this event even more competitive and far more interesting.
Hidden Valley Round (Darwin)
Race 9

1st Jamie Whincup (Ford)
2nd Mark Winterbottom (Ford)
3rd Will Davison (Holden)
Race 10
1st Michael Caruso (Holden)
            Congrats to Michael on his maiden V-8 supercar win…
2nd Alex Davison (Ford)
3rd Craig Lowndes (Ford)

Rugby League
State Of Origin
Game 2 is this week. I said that last week, but I was off by a week. My bad…
Round Fifteen
Bulldogs 19 def Penrith 12
North Queensland 24 just over Sydney Roosters 22
            Exciting finish to this game, with the Roosters almost snatching the win.
Melbourne 14 def Wests Tigers 12
            Not a good game, scrappy and scrambly. (Is that even a word? Well, it is now…)
Manly 20 def Canberra 14
            Manly were lucky, with Canberra on the come-back but just running out of time. Good game.
Cronulla 46 def Brisbane 12
            Not a good game…

Sporting Morons
The continuing saga of Tony Zappia: It now appears that the money given to Zappia came from a con-man of sorts. Christ, this just gets better and better…
            Thanks to your e-mails; this appears to be a section which is entertaining you, and I hope it can continue. And to answer a query – in Australia, the truth is not a valid defence in a libel case. Hence one of the reasons we are the most censored Western nation on Earth.
            To start with this week – an honourable mention.
            Former Carlton (AFL club) president Jack Elliott has admitted this week to paying off several women in the 1980s and 1990s who claimed that Carlton players had raped them. He felt that all but one were lying. So, what he is saying, essentially, is that there was a case where one of his players raped a woman and the club paid her off in order to keep the player’s reputation intact and the club’s reputation untarnished. Now, unless I’m missing something, I’m pretty sure this is illegal. But… unless some-one makes an actual complaint, nothing will come of it, but kudos to Jack for being honest, albeit many years after the events.
            And now, these:
            Andrew McFarlane (St Paul’s Old Collegiates, Adelaide): According to our local newspaper, this player has been banned for life for striking a field umpire during a Division 7 reserves match. Not only did he hit an umpire during a game, but he did while playing for the reserves in a division so low that the local under-15s team would have a good run. Moron.
            Tim Orchard (reserves player for Clarence in Tasmania): During a live broadcast where a fellow player was being interviewed, Orchard apparently flashed his penis in the background on live TV. And, no, no alcohol was involved. Just stupidity. Apparently.
            Brad Fittler (coach, Sydney Roosters, NRL): Yep, a coach. He got drunk, went to the wrong floor, and tried to get into the wrong room. He has since fined himself $10,000. Well, with coaches acting like drunk teenagers, is it any wonder the players think they’re bullet-proof? This could be the end for Fittler as well, after the Roosters’ rather pathetic year so far…
Tally: 27

And that’s the view!


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